Another Year Of Vicenza Jazz

Another Year Of Vicenza Jazz

It’s 23th edition of Vicenza Jazz given the name “The Birth Of Youth” and like every year it’s in May, it begins on the 10th and finishers on the 20th. You can enjoy Jazz all over town from The Piazza Dei Signori, to the Teatro Olimpico to the Teatro Comunale, to the Jazz Club Trivellato to the streets, so everywhere you go you will have Jazz in the air.

Vicenza was not a town with the Jazz tradition, not like other town in the Veneto area, it had a slow but significant start. In the begging came Anthony Braxton in 1979 but Vicenza was not mature then. The first to put down the foundation of Jazz in Vicenza was “Perigeo” a Prog Jazz group of the 80’. The Jazz lover had to wait until 1983 when Italian musicians like Enrico Rava, Roberto Gatto, Dado Moroni and Paolo Fresu started performing at the Astra Theater. Then in 1989 came Herbie Hancock at the Palasport and unfortunately with Chick Corea in the Piazza a minute before the concert it started to rain. Then at the “Totem” they started with guest like Joe Lovano, The Oregon and Michel Petrucciani, then with the help of Mr. Turetta the owner of “Totem”, Bill Evans and Steve Coleman where brought into the Piazza. Jazz came to Vicenza through the official main door to the oldest indoor Theater in the world, L’Olimpico, with “Rava L’Opera Va” with Enrico Rava and his band with the Orchestra of L’Olimpico. One year later, in 1995 Michel Petrucciani always with the Orchestra of L’Olimpico that was an enormous success, now Vicenza was mature for Jazz.

But for it to come a real “Festival” it had still to come, with the help of Mrs. Francesca Lazzari of the department of culture and with Riccardo Brazzale as a collaborator and a young entrepreneur Luca Trivellato thing where to happen, the “New Conversation”. Why the “New Conversation”? The inspiration come from one of Bill Evans recordings “Conversations with Myself” so the idea was born that musicians like Paul Bley could come to the Olimpico theater and with other musicians and their instruments they could conversant with each other. It had started as a week end festival in 1997 but little by little it started to grow and in 1998 it would start on Monday and finish on Sunday. Then Jazz started to be played in the bars, in the Piazza and just about on every corner of the center of Vicenza.

Vicenza Jazz every year would give a name to their festival like in 1999 the celebrated the centenarian birth of Duke Ellington and twentieth death of Thelonious Monk in 2002, two of the most greatest Afro-American composers. In 2000 was the time of the “Giubileo”, that of 2001 Italian American woman, 2003 “To the Foundation of the Blues”, 2004 “Improvisation”, 2005 the tenth birth of Vicenza Jazz, it was given a very poetic name “The Bird Fly’s to Great Mother Africa”.

Jazz clubs started to open in Vicenza like the Jazz Cafè Trivellato that’s in the Piazza Dei Signori under the Basilica Palladiana, with the help of the Panic Jazz Club of Marostica and Luca Trivellato this was possible. So during the Vicenza Jazz Festival you can eat and listen to Jazz at the Jazz Cafè and not only, all years round too.

To give you an idea of what Vicenza Jazz has been doing in the past, let’s flout around the years together, Jazz lover will centrally know these musicians. In the year 1997, was the time of L’Ambrosia with Giugliano Fracasso singing the song of Duke Ellington “Freedom” thought the streets of Vicenza to fill the air of Jazz and at the Olimpico the voice of Abbey Lincoln. The next year 1998, came Dave Brubeck Quartet and the solo piano of John Lewis too finish Lee Konitz, then the voice of Sheila Jordan. In 1999 David Murray with his drums in Contrà Barche, and at the Olimpico Ron Carter. Not to forget the Quartet of Milt Jackson with Pietro Tonolo, Steve Swallow, the unforgettable “The Goldstein” with Paul Motian. The year 2000, Lee Konitz was to come back to Vicenza but fell ill and was replace by Enrico Rava that found himself driving an unforgettable jam session with Phil Woods, Jim Hall, Enrico Pieranunza, Larry Grenadier and Paul Motian at the Olimpico. To 2001 came Ray Brown & Lee Konitz that got well after his heart operation. Around midnight Buddy De Franco happens to bump into Bill Frisell & Paul Motian and the violoncello of Ernst Reijseger, what a night. What to say about Maria Schneider and Paolo Fresu in orchestra doing “Sketches of Spain” of Miles Davis. This brings us to 2002, with Joe Zawinul from Weather Report, Dave Douglas, Brad Medldau, Miroslav Vitous, Uri Caine, Richard Galliano. Then Paul Motian and his Electric Bebop Band doing the music of “Monk at the Town Hall” directed no less than Riccardo Brazzale. In 2003 the big event was to bring Pat Metheny & Charlie Haden in duet and The Chicago Columbia College that went to Monte Berico. Dear Maynard Ferguson that is no long with us R.I.P., Randy Weston, Sam Rivers, Paul Bley, and Joe Lovano. 2004 was the year of Take 6 and the Latin Big Band of David Murray that played in the Piazza, here there was a little problem with the visa because most of the musicians where from Cuba. Uri Caine that played the music of Mozart in the Olimpico, Joey Baron, the trio of Kunitz-Frisell-Marc Johnson, The Art Ensemble of Chicago at the Astra, Kenny Werner and Anouar Brahem. 2005 was the 10th anniversary for Vicenza Jazz and to celebrate the event Herbie Hancock come on over. Toots Thielemans & Richard Galliano did the thing in the Olimpico, and The New Sound of Africa of Mani Dibango in the Piazza. A sixteen year old saxophonist Francesco Cafiso with Giovanni Fracasso, The Lydian Sound Orchestra with special guest Charles McPherson playing the music of Charlie Parker, directed by Riccardo Brazzale. 2006 with the Australia guitarist Tommy Emmanuel at the Olimpico, Diane Schuur and Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez in the Piazza one day after the other. Paolo Fresu playing with his trumpet two master albums of Miles Davis “Porgy and Bess” and “The Birth of the Cool”. 

2007 took the shape of Brazil the Carrabin and German, from Berlin musicians Joachim Kuhn, Alex Von Schlippenbach. Then with the amazing Dee Dee Bridgewater not to forget, Amiri Baraka, William Parker, Anthony Braxton, Bosso-Irio De Paula and Carla Bley. 2008 was the opening of the new Teatro Comunale of Vicenza, Mike Stern was there and also Larry Coryell and not finished yet a great show of the Israeli singer Noa. In the Piazza with Kokani and Fanfara Tirana, and not to forget the stoical Jazz of Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman and Andrew Cyrille. The prodigious child at the time only 10 years old, Ariel from Tel Aviv than played the Giant Steps grand piano with Enrico Rava on trumpet. 2009 with an amazing start with John Zorn in duet with Uri Caine at the Olimpico. The Buena Vista Social Club a free concert in the Piazza, never seen it so full, and Sunday at the Tempio of San Lorenzo Jan Garbarek with Hilliard Ensemble. Geri Allen from Yellowjackets to Dave Holland with Chris Potter. Then to Terence Blanchard and the Mingus Dynasty celebrating 30 years from “Mingus Ah Um” at Teatro Comunale. 2010 was a mixture of America and Europe Jazz, the France Richard Galliano, to Henri Texier, Geraldine Laurent, and Renaud Garcia-Fons. The Rolling Stones Project that did an amazing version of “Wild Horses”, the sax of Kenny Garrett that made everybody get off their sits and dance. Then to the sax of Donny McCaslin to the piano of McCoy Tyner at the Comunale to finish with the 90 year old drummer Roy Haynes at the Olimpico. 2011 Roy Paci that again the Piazza was filled, to go to Uri Caine with his Mahler re-visited, then to Steve Coleman and his “Five Elements” to Chris McBride and Joshua Redman Quartet. To the trumpet of Arturo Sandoval and to Hiromi Uehara and the 90 year old Aeolian Hall who is still able to renovate his music. 

To 2012 opened the root to the Eastern Jazz, from India Trilok Gurtu to Jaipur Kawa Brass Band to Saiyuki Trio of Nguyen Le to the project for Samdhi of Rudresh Mahanthappa. Then to Ron Carter and Roswell Rudd, Oliver Lake, to Annie Whitehaed with Sarah Jane Morris dedicated to the music of Robert Wyatt. Not to forget Dominic Miller, Harmen Fraanje and Mola Sylla. 2013 went to East and West Jazz with Al Di Meola together with Gonzalo Rubalcaba from the West Cost of Los Angeles, to the flamenco of Aranjues from the cost of Mexico. To Gary Burton Quartet to Henry Threadgill, Miroslav Vitous and to Pharoah Sanders to the fusion of Mike Stern and the Bill Evans Band. To finish up in the Piazza with Earth, Wind & Fire featuring Al McKay. 2014 with the innovation and traditional Jazz, from Napoleon Maddox and Hamid to the Quartet of Michael Formanek with Craig Taborn. To Gerald Cleaver & Tim Berne, Taylor Ho Bynum, Wayne Horvitz, Rob Mazurek, just warming up. Chick Corea on solo piano, to the great sax of both Kenny Garrett and Ravi Coltrane, Antonello Salis with the piano of Uri Caine and the drums of Han Bennink. 2015 was the year of 20th year so it was named 20th Century, it was a big celebration for Vicenza Jazz, so from the Piazza with Tony Allen & Daddy G. To the Soft Machine with Keith Tippett, to Arturo Sandoval to Gregory Porter, to Maria Schneider & Fabrizio Bosso, to Jan Garbarek & Trilok Guru, Anthony Braxton, Jan Lundgren, Richard Galliano and Paolo Fresu. 2016 with Joe Lovano at the Olimpico, in the Piazza with Daniele Sepe & Stefano Bolla, to Amir Elsaffar with the Hyper. To the trio of David Murray which are Geri Allen & Terri Lyne Carrington. To Alessandro Lanzoni with Ben Wendel, Ralph Towner & Paolo Fresu. To Dave Liebman and his trio, to Billy Hart with him Ethan Iverson, Mark Turner, then the magical piano Brad Mehldau. Vicenza Jazz 2017 with Dee Dee Bridgewater, Chris Potter Quartet, Jacob Collier to Gonzalo Rubalcaba.

Vicenza Jazz 2018, first date 10th May in Thiene at the Auditorium Fonato with “Camille Bertault Trio”. On the 11th we have “The Sun Ra Mythic Dream Arkestra” at Vicenza’s most beautiful Theater the Teatro Olimpico and at 22.00pm at the Jazz Cafè Trivellato, Bar Borsa there will be “Camille Bertault Trio”. Also on the 12th there are two important concerts, “The Sun Ra Mythic Dream Arkestra” will be at the Teatro Olimpico and then at 21.00pm in the Piazza Dei Signori “Odwalla & Saturnian Visitors” this is a free concert. At the Teatro Olimpico there will be the great “Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas Quintet”. Then again at the Teatro Olimpico on the 14th these “Orchestra Del Teatro Olimpico”. Always at the Teatro Olimpico on the 15th you will be able to see two concerts the first one “Dado Moroni & Darry Hall Duo” and right after “Enrico Pieranunzi Quartet feat, Seamus Blake”. The 16th another two concerts one after the other, “Raul Midon” and then “Giovanni Guidi feat. David Virelles” at the Teatro Comunale. And then again on the 17th always at the Teatro Comunale these’s “Aarst-Petrella-Rabbia Trio” and late that evening “Ralph Alessi Quintet feat. Ravi Coltrane”. The 18th the incredible “Manhattan Transfer” at the Teatro Comunale, then at 24.00pm in the cemetery Maggiore there will be “Gavino Murgia & Cantar Lontano”. The 19th we will have “Tigran Hamasyan” then “Randy Weston & Billy Harper Duo” this at the Teatro Comunale. 

And to close this XXIII edition of Vicenza Jazz 2018 these’s “Poetry Vicenza Jam” at the Teatro Olimpico. Don’t thing that this is all!

 All over Vicenza you can attend 150 Jazz appointments! Just pointed out a few, to know more check out the site; see you all very soon!

By Cesare Greselin.